Location: San Diego
HI: I need some help. I had my prostate removed due to prostate cancer. I feel I have lost my man-hood. I don’t experience hard-ons anymore. My penis is dead. Can you recommend something to help me?
It’s truly uncanny; in the past week alone I’ve received similar email from four different people. Each had a very different presenting problem, but all were experiencing very similar sexual issues. Get this, I heard from a woman in Japan who is recovering from a radical mastectomy. I heard from a guy in San Francisco who is recovering from a serious meth addiction. A young wife and mother in North Carolina whose husband, and father of her two kids, has returned from Iraq a basket case…and now you, Doug.
Its astonishing that, despite the dramatic differences in each of your life stories, all of you report pretty much same thing — you feel less than whole, disconnected from your sexuality and devoid of any real intimacy or meaningful sexual outlet. It is so amazing how, despite our unique individual difficulties, there are often a universal response to life’s troubling complexities.
Regaining a sense of your sexual-self after prostate surgery, or any of the other problems I mentioned above, is an arduous, but rewarding task. With your self-confidence in the toilet and zero libido to boot, I suggest that you begin your rehabilitation by connecting with others similarly challenged as you. In your case, it will probably be other cancer survivors. More likely than not, they will be a whole lot more sympathetic to your issues and attuned to your predicament. Sometimes, people who have yet to experience a life threatening disease or a disfiguring surgery don’t have a clue about how to interact with those that have. It’s not their fault, it’s just the way things are.
I suggest looking into a support group, if you haven’t done so already. Once you make that connection, you will find, that you are not alone. Other people similarly challenged as you are experiencing many of very same things you are. And to my mind, it’s way much easier to face and handle life’s difficulties when surrounded and supported by others.
One word of caution; my experience is that many disease-based programs and support groups shy away from intimacy concerns. This is a real tragedy, because this is the one aspect of healing that consistently remains unaddressed by the medical profession. That is way I included an entire chapter about the intimacy and sexual needs of chronically ill, elder and dying people in my book — The Amateur’s Guide To Death and Dying; Enhancing the End of Life. I encourage you to check out the book; it’s loaded with amazing sex-positive information.
Next I suggest that you first try connecting with people on a sensual level as opposed to a sexual level. I firmly believe in massage as the best say to accomplish this. Think about it. Imagine the good you’ll be able to do for others, as well as yourself with therapeutic touch. And, to my mind, therapeutic touch also includes sensual touch. It will soothe so much more than the jangled nerves and disrupted muscle tissue caused by radical invasive surgery. It gives the one doing the touch a renewed sense of him/herself a pleasure giver, which is totally important to us all. And when you receive the touch, it will begin to reawaken sensory perceptions you thought were lost for good. And your libido as well as your erection will bloom again. I promise. Here’s a tip: to keep that stiffy goin, I encourage you to use a cockring.
Now if you feel your massage skills aren’t up to par, why not take a class or workshop in massage. You might want to look to something like the Body Electric School Of Massage. They have load of training options. And learning is a hands-on experience. What could be more liberating than that?
If a class is a bit too intimidating at first, you might consider purchasing a book on massage. A great primer is: Male Erotic Massage by Ray Stubbs, Ph.D. This is a holistic approach to bodywork, including the sexual and the spiritual aspects of Male Erotic Massage. There are over 200 photographs in this volume that reveal both massage techniques and the beauty of the male body embracing the male body. The strength, the joy, the gentleness, the ardor, the tenderness, the equanimity, the pleasure — they are all included.
Another title is: Erotic Massage, The Touch of Love also by Ray Stubbs, Ph.D. This is a more inclusive volume of erotic massage. It describes long, flowing strokes for the whole body, including female and male genitals. By the way, this was the very first massage book to explicitly illustrate genital massage. The techniques described are simple and easy to perform. It’s superbly illustrated, and the text is both tender and playful.
Finally, your gift of massage is the ideal way to connect with another human, be it a friend, a family member, lover, or even a stranger. Your touch can be either seductive or non-seductive, or maybe a little of both. You can count on this purposefully touching to open new doors. You’ll discover new pleasures, both subtle and profound, as you give as well as receive touch.
I encourage you to push beyond the isolation I know you are feeling, Doug. Purposeful touching, like massage, will change your perceptions about sex, sensuality, and intimacy. And like I said, it will also resurrect your boner. I know this can happen. I’ve seen it happen. Doug, now it’s your turn to make it happen!
Hey dr dick! What’s that toll-free podcast voicemail telephone number? Why, it’s: (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!